Still Autumn, just…


f/11, 1/25, ISO 100, 16mm, circ. polariser

There is a heavy hint of change in the air.  The trees no longer bask in full Autumn glory. Instead, their leaves billow under the wheels of passing vehicles.  Twice this week my day has begun with scraping frost from car windows.  Staying out to photograph the sunset, my hands and feet became numb from the cold.


f/11, 1/15, ISO100, 16mm, circ. polariser

Perhaps in sympathy, it’s been all change in my digital life this week.  I have finally downloaded Photoshop Creative Cloud and Lightroom 5.  For photographers there’s a special subscription deal for just under £9 a month.  That’s a huge discount, but hurry, it ends on 2nd December. It will take me a while to get to grips with Lightroom as I haven’t used it before but PS CC seems fairly intuitive, not too much of a leap from CS4.

One of the things that’s much improved from CS4 is the HDR facility.  The image below is my first attempt.  Just three exposures blended by PS CC.  It’s certainly light years ahead of what CS4 would have produced but I’m still not sure about it.  I had to tweak a lot to get it to look even vaguely natural.  Perhaps it’s a good thing I have ordered some ND graduated filters so I can do it in camera instead!


f/16, 1/6, ISO 100, 16mm, circ. polariser

Just to make life even harder, I also upgraded my iMac operating system from Snow Leopard to Mavericks.  It seems mostly familiar but for some inexplicable reason I now have to scroll in the opposite direction.  Mighty confusing!  There’s probably a setting I need to tick somewhere.  (Scratches head bemusedly.)  

And, just to add to it all, I have finally given up on Redbubble and am working on creating a new website with Photium.  More on that soon.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these further images from my walk last week along the Wey Navigation towpath.

Autumn Falls



Last week I shared a picture of Coulson’s Weir on the Wey Navigation, Weybridge.  This is another shot of the same place, taken on the same day but a couple of hours later.  The light has become warmer and a cluster of oak leaves has fallen giving me some seasonal foreground. In fact, I like this one better than the first shot.  I think the person on the bridge helps the composition, although I know a few very good landscapers who absolutely hate seeing people in their shots.  I suppose this is not exactly a wild place and so a bit of human interest seems fitting. Which image do you prefer?  And what are your views on figures in landscapes?

I realise I have been wittering on about the Wey Navigation recently but haven’t really explained what it is.  I did a few posts about it last year, but that is a long time ago in blog-land!  A longer post on the Navigation is in the pipeline, plus one on technique, and one on selling your images online. But first my incredibly slow internet has to finish downloading OS X Mavericks.  So far, 8 hours and not even close to the middle of the progress bar!  Rant over.

The wonderful Wey


Two more shots from my stroll along my local stretch of the Wey Navigation in Weybridge.  The top one is a panorama, stitched from five separate vertical images to make a big 11000 by 7000 (approx) pixel file, which will make a mighty print, if I ever print it.  The lower image is the same viewpoint as my moonrise shot last month.



I am now writing for a local website once a week and the second shot featured in my article last week.



Coulson’s weir



What a stunning day we had today.  The light this morning was so clear; how could I resist?  This is Coulson’s Weir on the Wey Navigation in Weybridge, Surrey.  Continuing the theme of this week, there is also a tiny starburst on the lip of the falls.  Can you see it?  If you saw Monday’s post, you know what aperture I used for this shot. 😉

Winter on the Wey


Winter on the Wey Navigation

Snow is forecast. We wait with bated breath. Services will grind to a halt, schools will close and we will make our annual pilgrimage to worship the fluffy white stuff before it melts.


Thames Lock, Weybridge

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened” ― Rachel CohnDash & Lily’s Book of Dares

One square metre


One question I am often asked is how I manage to spot all the bugs I shoot. It really is just a matter of training your eye. The more you start to look for the smaller creatures around you, the more you start to find them.


One way to train your eye is to find a small area of vegetation, say one square metre, and see how many insects you can find and photograph. You will be surprised after a little while just how many are there.


All of the shots in today’s post were taken in one clump of weeds by the Wey Navigation towpath. The photo shoot took about 15 minutes in total. In fact, I found several other insects in the same clump.


Why not give it a try and share the results on your blog and/or in comments here?

My Internet is down and I am blogging on 3G, which is expensive, so please forgive me if I am a little slow in replying or visiting your blogs until the pesky thing is fixed.

Admiring the view


A short post today. This scene was taken on my local stretch of the Wey Navigation, a historic waterway that runs for 20 miles between Weybridge and Goldalming, Surrey. Last year I published a series of articles about the Navigation in some local magazines. The text (and some more images) of the first article which includes this picture is here. I will do a more detailed post on the Navigation, its history and wildlife, this weekend.

Romantic runaways


Last year I published a series of articles in some local magazines about the Wey Navigation, a historic waterway that runs for 20 miles from the Thames at Weybridge to Godalming, in Surrey, England. I thought I might occasionally feature excerpts from the series in this blog. Today’s excerpt is about one of the many interesting historical landmarks that can be seen from the towpath. This small brick tower can be found on the stretch between Pyrford Lock and Walsham Gates near the village of Ripley. It is an attractive and unusual structure, fourteen feet square, two storeys high with a first floor entrance and a distinctive ogee-pitched roof. Known as the ‘Summer House’, it bears a blue plaque declaring that: ‘John Donne, Poet and Dean of St.Pauls, lived here 1600-1604’. The story of the romantic runaways is about Donne and his passion for Ann More.


Donne had fallen in love with Ann, the daughter of Sir George More of Loseley Park near Guildford. Ann’s family was too important for her to be permitted to marry Donne so the lovers eloped, when Ann was only 17. This caused a scandal and Sir George organised a search for the runaways. Once they were found, Sir George had Donne thrown into London’s Fleet Prison. On his release, he and Ann were given shelter at Pyrford Place, the home of Sir Francis Wolley, a friend of Donne’s. Sir Francis eventually managed to engineer a reconciliation with Sir George. John and Ann Donne lived at Pyrford Place for a further two years and had the first of their twelve children there. Ann and children lived there for another year while Donne travelled, before the whole family moved to their own home in 1606. It is said that, such was his love for Ann, Donne never got over his grief when she died (having 12 children took its toll!).

It seems unlikely that Donne ever actually lived in the Summer House, which some historians think may not even have been built until later in the century, but the Summer House is in the grounds of Pyrford Place and it is certainly picturesque enough to stand in the imagination as the retreat of a lovelorn poet!

All other things, to their destruction draw,
Only our love hath no decay;
This, no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday,
Running it never runs from us away,
But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.

Songs and Sonnets (1611) ‘The Anniversary’

The full text of my article and some more of the images can be viewed here.